BMBDG Seminar– Dr. Anna Blakney

“Self-amplifying RNA: The Next Generation of RNA Vaccine Technology”

Abstract: Self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) is a next-generation platform for nucleic acid vaccines. The backbone, typically derived from an alphaviral genome, encodes a gene of interest (GOI) and a replicase, which is able to amplify the RNA upon delivery to the cell. The self-amplification properties enable use of a much lower dose of saRNA compared to messenger RNA (mRNA), typically 100-fold lower. Because RNA is a large, anionic molecule, it requires a delivery vehicle to promote cellular uptake and protect it from degradation. Lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations are the most clinically progressed technology for both saRNA and mRNA delivery, with the recent approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, which are both LNP formulations. However, there are other delivery systems in development, such as polymeric nanoparticles, and there are still many unknowns as to the role of the delivery vehicle in vaccine immunogenicity. Here, we will discuss development of an saRNA COVID vaccine, alternative delivery systems and the future of RNA platform technology.


Location: LSC #3






Dr. Anna Blakney

Assistant Professor, SBME and Michael Smith Laboratories





For more information, visit the BMBDG event page.